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Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

area: Spokane County
  • overview
    Turnbull encompasses approx. 16,000 acres of the Channeled Scablands. The ecosystem that predominates the Refuge is unique within the National Wildlife Refuge System. Forces of volcanism, glaciation and the largest flood in geological history have forged a distinct environment. Basalt outcrops, channeled canyons and ponderosa pine forests infused in a diverse landscape (130 marshes, wetlands and lakes) create an environment of beauty & a quality wildlife habitat. The acres of wetlands represent some of the last quality breeding habitat in eastern Washington for waterfowl.
  • map
  • amenities
    • Comments/Notes: Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge is located on the eastern edge of the Columbia Basin, in Spokane county in northeastern Washington. The Refuge is situated within the "Channeled Scablands", an area formed by glacial floods at the end of the last ice age. Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 to provide productive breeding and nesting grounds for migratory birds and other wildlife Auto Touring Auto Tour Route: The 5-mile auto tour route is open year-round. Includes an overlook trail, (Kepple Lake), 2 accessible trails (Kepple Lake Interpretive Trail and Pine Lake Loop Trail), and a Boardwalk at Black Horse Lake. Foot Travel Columbia Plateau Trail: Columbia Plateau Trail, a Washington State Parks managed trail that traverses the closed area of the Refuge is now open to the public. Visitors may hike, ride bicycles or horses on the trail but are reminded the Refuge itself on either side of the Trail is closed to all public access. Kepple Peninsula Interpretive Trail: This beautiful, 0.44-mile trail leads you through the four habitats found on Turnbull. A variety of flora and fauna species can be observed in the grassland, ponderosa pine forest, riparian and wetland habitats. An interpretive trail guide was developed to assist you on your walk. The accessible portion of the Trail was widened and paved. This trail leads to an environmental education shelter and wildlife observation blind built by refuge volunteers for school groups and the visiting public. The wildlife observation blind overlooks a large wetland slough where a variety of waterfowl and other wildlife can be observed.